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Erika Fischer-Lichte to Receive 2024 Honor
During World Congress in Brno, Czechia

The International Association of Theatre Critics (AICT/IATC) announced today that Prof. Dr. Erika Fischer-Lichte, the renowned German theorist on theatre and performance will receive the 2024 Thalia Prize at its 2024 World Congress in Brno, Czechia, in May.

The Thalia Prize is AICT/IATC’s prestigious award for outstanding contribution to the field of theatre criticism. It is bestowed on critics, theoreticians, and practitioners who have played significant roles in shaping global understanding of theatre spanning different cultural environments, politics, and aesthetics. The 2024 Thalia Committee was comprised of Ivan Medenica, chair (Serbia); Irina Gogoberidze (Georgia); and Pawit Mahasarinand (Thailand). The Executive Committee of AICT/IATC voted unanimously, in a meeting earlier this year, to present the prize to Prof. Dr. Fischer-Lichte.

Jeffrey Eric Jenkins (USA), president of the association, said, “It is difficult to imagine the landscape of thought on global theatre and performance over the past several decades without the brilliant perspectives of Erika Fischer-Lichte. It is truly a pleasure for us to honor her outstanding work and contributions to the field.”

Previous Thalia honorees include an impressive selection of laureates: Eric Bentley (USA, 2006), Jean-Pierre Sarrazac (France, 2008), Richard Schechner (USA, 2010), Kapila Vatsyayan (India, 2012), Eugenio Barba (Denmark, 2014), Femi Osofisan (Nigeria, 2016), Hans-Thies Lehmann (Germany, 2018), and Tadashi Suzuki (Japan, 2020). No prize was given in 2022 due to pandemic public health protocols.

Prof. Dr. Erika Fischer-Lichte’s extensive body of work is concerned with problems of performance theory, European theatre and cultural history, transformative aesthetics, performances of ancient Greek tragedies worldwide since 1800, theatre and cultural identity, interweaving of performance cultures in the context of historical and contemporary forms of globalisation, and performance-related concepts in non-European languages. Among her publications are The Transformative Power of Performance: A New Aesthetics (2008), The Politics of Interweaving Performance Cultures: Beyond Postcolonialism (2014, ed. with S. Jain et al.), Tragedy’s Endurance. Performances of Greek Tragedies and Cultural Identity in Germany Since 1800 (2017), Entangled Performance Histories. New Approaches to Theater Historiography (2023, ed. with T. Jost et al.), Performance Cultures as Epistemic Cultures (2023, ed. with T. Jost et al.).

Born in 1943, Prof. Dr. Fischer-Lichte studied Theatre Studies, Slavic Languages and Literatures, German Philology, Philosophy, Psychology and Educational Science at Freie Universität Berlin and the University of Hamburg. In 1973, she was appointed professor at the Institute for German Language and Literature at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt/Main, in 1986 she took over the chair of General and Comparative Literature at the University of Bayreuth, and in 1990 she became director of the newly founded Institute for Theatre Studies at the University of Mainz. Since 1996, she has been a professor at the Institute for Theatre Studies at Freie Universität Berlin, and since 2008 she has been director of the International Research Center “Interweaving Performance Cultures.” She is a member of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the Academia Europaea, the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and International Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has taught as a visiting professor in Brazil, Cuba, China, India, Japan, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the United States.